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Report: Oilers hunting for defence

Over on TSN, Darren Dreger appeared on Leafs Lunch to talk about an array of topics but eventually landed on the Oilers and their pursuit of a defenceman. Let’s break it down.

I don’t know what the hell is going on anymore. We’re 20 games into the season and there are already rumours swirling about the Oilers looking for a defenceman. Giving the fact that we went through an entire summer without adding anyone to the blueline and thinking that was a good idea makes the idea of trading assets to get some help all the more frustrating. BUT here we are, so what did Dreger say?

“Edmonton for certain is looking for a defenseman.”

Yeah, I got that. I mean, I wish that would have been something they handled in the summer but that’s another story. Tell us what’s going on here, guy.

“A lot of people swirling around the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Murray. We seem to want to talk about Ryan Murray almost on an annual basis now, from a trade perspective.”

Ryan Murray? Actually, I almost forgot that he even existed. The guy has only played one full season since being drafted (2012) so the fact that CBJ would want to get rid of him isn’t exactly surprising. Anyway, what about Ryan Murray?

“No question the Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche had multiple conversations about Duchene because that’s what Columbus is looking for. Columbus is looking for a centerman and it’s believed that Ryan Murray would have been part of that deal.”

No wonder Colorado didn’t want to move Duchene to the Blue Jackets if Murray was one of the biggest pieces of the return. Do they really think that Murray is worth a guy of Duchene’s calibre? Give me a break.

“But things have changed a little bit. So let’s go back to the draft in Chicago. I know Columbus was willing to consider a top pick for Ryan Murray.”

Ahhhh okay… a draft pick for Murray makes sense to me. I mean, yes he’s a decent player but he can’t ever seem to stay healthy and that’s a big concern if you’re going to give up assets to get him. Maybe it would be a gamble worth taking if he was a free agent but that’s about it. What I still don’t understand is what this has to do with Edmonton?

“Now (Columbus) wants player-for-player, and they’re in the market for a centre. Is it Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out of Edmonton? Who might it be?”

Whoa, whoa, whoa… stop the clock. NUGE for Murray? Is this guy for real? There’s no way Chiarelli would be down to make that trade, right? Not with the way RNH is playing this year. No. NO! Bad insider. Bad.

“Right now Nuge is playing great hockey for the Oilers, so I don’t think they’re interested in parting with him.”

Oh, thank Gord. I’m glad that people are seeing that maybe, just maybe having 24-year-old Nugent-Hopkins on the upswing in his career is a good thing for the organization. If Chiarelli moved Nuge for a guy that’s not even likely to play every night it would probably throw me into a meltdown.

“My sense is that the asking price, if it’s Ryan Murray or for most defenseman that the Oilers have some interest in, is still too high.”

This last part makes me nervous. If Hall for Larsson was the “price you pay” then what is it going to look like when Chia goes fishing for another top-four guy in November? Is he going to steal from Peter to pay Paul again? Do we even have enough assets to package together that would be worth it to another team?

Frankly, big trades don’t happen all that often this early in the season so I’m sure this is all much ado about nothing but even talking about it is enough to make me nervous. What about you guys?